As telework continues growing, new internal communication trends are also emerging and changing year after year. The last two years showed us that people love flexibility and control over their work options – and that will not change any soon.
Employees are loud and clear: they want to have options and control over when, where, and how they work. And employers should give them a choice.
But things are not black and white. This creates additional pressure on employers since remote work showed his true colors.
While away from their colleagues, employees can feel disconnected, leading to decreased engagement and burnout. This disconnection is even more pronounced in companies with deskless workers and larger companies with more employees.
The psychological impacts of teleworking
With each new study on the effects of teleworking, employers change internal communication trends and adapt them. The perfect formula is unquestionably hidden somewhere there, but it takes continuous work and monitoring to get to it.
In the meantime, employers should understand and try to influence the most common effects of teleworking on employees.
As we mentioned before, remote employees feel disconnected. Since humans are social beings, this finding is disappointing but not surprising. And it is definitely a good indicator of the direction in which employers should act.
Feelings of social disconnection may lead to loneliness due to the isolation and distance from their colleagues.
According to a survey by the American Psychiatric Association:
- 48% of people working from home feel isolated or lonely at least sometimes
- 17% of people working from home feel isolated or lonely all the time
Therefore, it is imperative for employers to connect employees in the company through various communication channels and to develop internal communication.
Choosing the proper internal communication trends could increase the sense of belonging to the community and make it easier to work from home.
How internal communication trends change and adapt to the business environment
It all started two years ago when the world was hit by a coronavirus pandemic. The companies closed their offices and sent employees to work from home. Everyone expected that this was a temporary solution. Soon it was clear that the situation won't be better as telework became widespread.
Internal communication got a new dimension and a new meaning. It was no longer prime just to pass on relevant and important information but actively involve employees, engage them and make them feel part of the community. Internal communication trends have changed accordingly.
Traditional methods of internal communication have been called into question. The development of new technologies and solutions has been given a new goal – to reach and engage all employees wherever they are.
At first, employers seek channels that will enable employee tracking. Soon it was clear that performance and productivity were not the problems.
Employees needed transparent, reliable communication from the top. They started to lose a sense of belonging and began to feel distant. A new requirement in internal communication has become personalized messaging, keeping in mind all types of employees.
As telework continued to evolve, more focus was on employee recognition and proper feedback. Leaders began to understand the importance of information and knowledge sharing, employee appreciation, employee connection, and breaking down communication silos.
For employers: Ignite a sense of belonging in remote employees
Let's look at the numbers again. Owl Labs partnered with Global Workplace Analytics conducted a survey during COVID-19 and revealed some interesting numbers:
- 75% of people are the same or more productive while working from home
- 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company
- Remote employees worked an extra 26 hours each month
Numbers are clear – employers can benefit from telework. They just need to motivate remote workers and keep them in touch with others.
Remote workers require more attention and communication to understand the job and feel like a part of the team. That’s why one of the most important internal communication trends these days is prioritizing employee recognition.
The more you recognize your employees, the more connected to the company they feel. Employee recognition should be a part of your company culture.
Recognize and celebrate both individual and team achievements. Monthly updates on employees’ achievements and success can go a long way.
For remote employees: Stay connected when working from home
If you sometimes feel disconnected and invisible, you are not alone. Every remote employee sometimes feels lonely, separated, or disconnected. But connecting with your coworkers and managers doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Some simple habits can help you restore a connection with colleagues and a sense of belonging:
- Communicate often with your coworkers – when you have doubts, questions, updates, or concerns.
- Use video calls in your communication instead of just messaging – people are visual, they want to see you and hear your voice tone.
- Organize at least once a week virtual coffee break to maintain connections with your colleagues.
- When you see and read some interesting, funny, or useful video or article, don’t hesitate to share it with your coworkers.
- Ask your colleagues how their weekend or vacation was, and tell them something interesting that happened to you that’s not related to work.
- At least once a month (or more often if possible) work from the office and schedule face-to-face meetings with your coworkers.
Staying in touch and reconnecting with coworkers is easy with Lorino. Find out how!